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Bryant v. Hammonds

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

September 12, 2014

Barry Bryant
v.
George Hammonds, Jr

Released for Publication May 15, 2015.

Appeal from Lowndes Circuit Court. (CV-13-900038). Terri Bozeman Lovell, Trial Judge.

For Appellant: Michael F. Braun, Montgomery.

For Appellee: E. Hamilton Wilson, Jr., and Allison A. Ingram of Ball, Ball, Matthews & Novak, P.A., Montgomery.

MOORE, Judge. Thompson, P.J., and Pittman, Thomas, and Donaldson, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Page 371

MOORE, Judge.

Barry Bryant appeals from a summary judgment entered by the Lowndes Circuit Court (" the trial court" ) in favor of George Hammonds, Jr.

On May 30, 2013, Bryant filed a complaint against Hammonds alleging that he was the owner of several cattle; that, on or about October 2012, Hammonds had kept five of Bryant's cattle (" the cattle" ); and that Hammonds had retagged the cattle and was claiming the cattle as his own. Bryant asserted that he had demanded that Hammonds return the cattle to him but that Hammonds had refused, and, thus, he claimed, Hammonds had converted the cattle to his own use. Bryant requested a judgment in his favor " for [the] return of the cattle and/or for the value of the [cattle], plus an award of exemplary and punitive damages; and ... any other and different relief" to which he might be entitled.

Hammonds filed an answer on July 2, 2013. On July 11, 2013, Hammonds filed requests for admissions directed to Bryant. On October 29, 2013, Hammonds filed a motion for a summary judgment, which he supported with his affidavit and an " Alabama Uniform Incident/Offense" report. In his affidavit Hammonds stated:

" 1. My name is GEORGE HAMMONDS, JR., and I am a resident of Lowndes County, Alabama. I operate a large cattle operation in Lowndes County. I have about 370 acres which abuts property allegedly owned by [Bryant].
" 2. Each fall my cattle are tagged and vaccinated. In the spring, we work calves and they are sold in August.
" 3. In the past year, my cattle operation has not removed any identification tags from any cattle belonging to another located on my property.
" 4. I am familiar with the report of the Lowndes County Sheriff's Department dated November 28, 2012 filed by ... Bryant which claimed that five of his cows were allegedly on my property. It is my understanding that the Sheriff's investigator determined that ... Bryant had no proof of ownership of any such cattle.
" 5. I run approximately 75-80 cows on the property which partially abuts [Bryant's property]. To my knowledge, none of the cattle claimed by [Bryant] in his complaint are ...

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